Wednesday 28 August 2019

Boris-Cummings in tactical nuclear strike on Remainia

Well, that has set the cat amongst the proverbial pigeons.

This morning the UK Government has decided, as it is quite within it legal rights to, to arrange a Queen's Speech for early October. The remainer PM May could not afford one of these for fear of a Vote of No Confidence, so there is in fact a desperate need for one to announce the Government's strategy.

Too clever by half though, as this has sent the remainers into another meltdown. Only yesterday they were lining up to create an alternative Parliament full of only remainers so that they could all meet and vigorously agree with one another on how horrid leavers are. Today though this plan is already in tatters. The main outcome of yesterday had been to admit they were not very united and instead had to work on Parliamentary legislation to undermine Brexit and the Government negotiation strategy. This now has only a few days in early September to work.

Boris-Cummings has put paid to this idea, perhaps. Their plan will be to halt parliament so they can negotiate a better deal with the EU that they can then bring back at the last moment and force a Parliamentary vote affirming it.

Alternatively, if the anti-Brexit MP's can manage it, they might now conjour up a vote of no confidence and therefore a General Election prior to October 31st. However, as I wrote some weeks ago, the timetable for that is very challenging. 2 weeks before parliament is dissolved, a five week election - so seven weeks minimum and the Vote of No Confidence can't be tabled until early September. I am sure the Remainers and EU will bend any rules they have too - but anyway as of today I fully expect a Tory-Brexit party victory as the remainers will be seen to be the ones forcing an election (remember how well that worked out for May in 2017).

So, lots more heat and little light to be generated in the next couple of weeks.


Anonymous said...

Dangerous move.

What was a bunch of disparate parties before, are now united - including the rebel Tories, the Lords and Bercow - against it.

Lawyers will be rubbing their hands as this will be getting dragged into courts, Bercow will be banding the rules.

Boris' Rubicon crossing, and who knows what happens from here?

My own prediction is that there is too much opposition. None of it especially organised, but either the sheer volume will overwhelm and Johnson and Cummings will find themselves trampled, or someone will come at them sideways.

Anonymous said...

As long as this isn't a cunning plan to bounce us into WA Mk 2 I don't mind. WA Mk 1 looked like indentured servitude.

I see the Squeaker is calling it a "constitutional outrage" - a subject he's an expert in.

It's interesting to review the careers of Bercow and Edward Leigh, the enfants terribles of the Tory Right some 25 years ago. Leigh has evolved to a literal Knight Of The Shires, Bercow has been heading leftwards for decades. Hmm.

Nick Drew said...

What was Paul Mason saying about getting inside decision-cycles?

"There's no such thing as strategic surprise, but there can be tactical surprise"

All pretty dramatic but

(a) the circumstances demand something dramatic
(b) Team Boris has had the initiative from Day 1 and they are shaping the battlefield to suit themselves
(c) we'd, errrr, like to assume this has all been thought out ...

As Andrew said at the foot of the BTL comments on the previous post - Tactician!

andrew said...

"It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."

Sobers said...

I've said for some time that whichever side calls an election over Brexit will lose it, so IMO this is a smart move by Boris/Cummings. The last thing they want to be is the side that precipitates an election, the voters are fed up with elections and votes, and just want Brexit got on with. Boris has a clear and simple plan, and can articulate it during an election, the Remain side have nothing they can agree on other than stopping No Deal on 31st Oct. Beyond that its a soup of totally conflicting ideas with no coherent concept to sell to the electorate. If the Remain side force an election they will be the ones blamed for it, and with no united vision of what they want out of the UK's relationship with the EU going forward would get annihilated.

Anonymous said...

The BBC are lining up a non-stop queue of "outraged" Remainers. Reminds me of why I don't watch or listen to it (TMS excepted) any more.

dearieme said...

Democracy requires that we leave. Therefore this manoeuvre is pro-democratic.

The old idea of the supremacy of parliament might have to give way to the supremacy of the people as expressed by referenda. I'm not certain how far that idea should be pushed, but since parliament has held the referendum, it had better bloody respect the outcome. Otherwise Guy Fawkes I assume.

Nick Drew said...

Anon - not sure I agree with you. On the 1 O'Clock News they did a Vox Pop from Brum, and even the Remainders pretty much said "let Boris get on with it"

As Sobers said above, "the voters are fed up with elections and votes, and just want Brexit got on with"

AND that is exactly the sort of sentiment Cummings will have carefully focus-grouped and ratified to the nth degree

andrew said...

Democracy does require we leave.

This cannot be at the expense of (further) damaging democracy in the process.
We do not approve of policemen who break the law to catch the criminals.
The excuses made include John Majors prorogation - which he called to stop any parliamentary debate on the cash for questions scandal.

The excuses are all whattaboutery and 'well, he did something bad too so it's ok for me to do the same'.

To be fair, excellent tactics, but the means are not justified by the end.
(and the strategy is well, if part of the strategy was returning sovreignity to parliament, it isnt now and so there is no strategy)

We end up in a very dark place when any means can be used to achieve your chosen end.

Just you wait for the next McDonnell govt when there is no appeal to the ECJ and the UK supreme court has been put 'on leave'
... 'but the Johnson govt did the same' they will say.

An unwritten constitution depends on people in power not abusing it. and right now they are. and the next lot that strongly feel change is needed will go further.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

Bill Quango MP said...

An unwritten constitution depends on people in power not abusing it. and right now they are.

Which is what we all agreed that the Bercow-Grieve derangement was going to lead to. only under the Appeasement government of May could such one sided abuses be allowed to continue without similar government response.

The outrage of the head Remoaners today. Tears in their eyes as they froth with rage at the ..the ..unjust methods!

Methods that they themselves have been using. Bending conventions in extreme ways. It never ends well.

Anyway, a very good add on to yesterday’s Cummings question.
The tactician has it. But master tactician. In the way Guderian rolled the Panzers through the Ardennes. And almost, almost..won the war.

Only, even with that victory of victories of all time, they couldn’t win the peace.

CityUnslicker said...

Schwarzkopf would be a better example than Guderian for that one BQ.

However, Andrew. Our constitution was wrecked at the point that a) we have a ref to leave the EU b) we continued to elect politicians that we knew would not enact it.

An EU ref result with a Remain parliament - disaster ad nauseam.

E-K said...

Whatever Boris is up to he knows the mood music to play if he wants to improve poll ratings and election prospects and that's to talk Hard Brexit.

"The public have changed their mind and want a second vote." according to Remain. That has been blown out of the water since the EU elections and the Tories know it. That's why we're where we are.

E-K said...

Anon - I hear Bercow is to be made a LABOUR peer. That will be three leftist speakers in a row.

Matt said...


Little unfair, we elected MPs who stood on a Leave manifesto and then changed their minds after they were elected. Yes, this could have been foreseen but never-the-less they were the liars.

dearieme said...

People who are claiming to stand up for Parliamentary Sovereignty seem to me to be the people keenest to continue transferring sovereignty to Bruxelles.

Quislings, the lot of 'em.

Raedwald said...

It's delicious to watch the self-loving and deeply delusional hubris of, frankly, nobodies, as they melt-down. Soubry telling the TV news that she, too, had asked to see the Queen; Grieve, a backbencher with every prospect of losing his seat by the new year, who will find life back in Temple Garden Chambers and future trips to Uxbridge magistrates court a little dull, but today he has his day in the Sun and can make the most absurd and deranged demands to eager remainiac fake-news peddlers ..

I hope someone is cataloguing all the breakdown clips - they will provide us with great amusement in a couple of years.

Bes of all is Bercow's holiday now being completely buggered. How can he relax for even a second after today's news? He'll be back tomorrow, I bet.

Anonymous said...

HM didn't stop it, anyway. Doubtless our judges, who've made Britain such a safe place, will want to have their say.

Nick Drew said...

It was only a matter of time before L'il Owen Jones weighed in ...

Boris Johnson is trashing the democracy fought for with the blood of our ancestors

Anonymous said...

Boris needs to find some spare Department of Sport cash for Bury FC, or at least get HMRC to call the dogs off. If Cameron can find millions for that African Queen and Kids Company, surely BoJo can help the Shakers?

It would be a signal to the North West that he can get things done.

Matt said...

That the Boy Jones is a pillock is a matter of his written record.

No point in harping on about what Vote Leave said about a deal - the 5th Column Remainers stitched that up with their back channels to Brussels.

Also no mention of the fact that MPs ratified the 31st October as (the second) leave date. Proroguing Parliament just enacts what they have already voted for.

No, the heat is because they imagined they could keep this crap fest going for long enough that eventually staying in the EU was no longer the losing option. They bitched and moaned so long the grown ups gave up on them like some petulant teenager on a long journey.

Now they have to face a final date where they need to so something. Until now it was to say no to everything. But what happens when saying no isn't enough?

andrew said...

Ask nancy reagan

She probably had a better idea than most of our political classes.
I can lend you a ouija board.

She will make more sense than OJ

Back on strategy, talking to the cleaners this evening, they thought leave was a 'just waiting for 1 nov thing' and do not really care about deal or no deal.
One was interested in the NHS as her mum is in hospital and another was interested in schools as his youngest is starting a new school.
All those announcements on schools / police etc may be talking to the parts of the country that do not care overmuch about brexit or london based pols.

Nigel Sedgwick said...

Has there ever, on this planet, been a tactical nuclear strike?

Given not, what is its political equivalence?

Given that is unknown, what is all this pontificating?

Best regards

Anomalous Cowshed said...

I feel that I may have heard a phrase somewhere, somewhen,that may be appropriate;

Shit or get off the pot.

Three years seems to be more than adequate.

Anonymous said...

Ich finde Großbritannien hat bessere und seriösere Politiker als einen Boris Johnson verdient, einen Mann der schon bei Brexit Referendum gelogen hat das sich die Balken biegen nur um ein wankelmütiges Volk auf seine Seite zu ziehen.

jim said...

Give a fool enough rope and they will hang themselves. That is what Boris will do to the Tory party and the UK. Let us hope the Remainers sit on their hands and let Boris do their work for them.

There is no coherent economic case for Brexit, all the Leavers have now is 'Sovereignty'. But the track record on sovereignty is pretty poor. Our parliament drags its feet over contaminated blood, it had to be threatened with European courts before Hillsborough got any sort of factual inquiry and our precious sovereign parliament ballsed up a simple building regs update and gave us Grenfell.

Unfettered our precious parliament will deliver even more abuses and succeed in never investigating them, because it is sovereign, no-one to keep tabs.

But situation gets worse. Post Brexit there will be no shortage of shiny German cars or Gucci handbags or Yqem - if you have the money. The real problem will continue to be income - income to pay for the NHS, the roads, rails etc etc.

Boris has pulled an amusing stunt and reminds us that strategy is useless without tactics. But it is still true that tactics without strategy is mere noise. The only strategy Boris/Cummings have is a race to the bottom, rejoice in that.

Nick Drew said...

Jim, the types of recent failings of our government which you list are bad enough, but to be found in every nation: the idleness and venality of merely mortal politicians

(throughout the EU and EC, too, of course)

but the EU is profoundly, intentionally non-democratic; and its claims to be "rules-based" are a sham. (It is rules-based for day-to-day trivia, but the EC does whatever it thinks it can get away with (= almost anything at all) when there's something they really want)

the question is this: how much of your freedom are you prepared to sacrifice for a life of ease? It is well understood that for many people, most of the time, the answer can be: well, pretty much all of it mate, since you ask

but if properly led and inspired, the answer can be: give me freedom, or ...

CityUnslicker said...

Nigel - there have been plenty of tactical nuclear strikes sadly. What do you think the point of all the testing is by North Korea for example?

Anyhow, I wrote that headline expecting to see a hilarious day-long meltdown by Remainia and I was not wrong. So much that I actually laughed watching Sky News in parts as they ran around phoning every remainer they could.

I also think this is tactics, as I am with Jim a little in that Hard brexit will be economically damaging and we really need a deal. however, Boris is not stupid and this may also come to pass and give much more in joy to behold as the left lose their project and war for another decade to their bitter enemy. Of course I am being optimistic, there are lots of roads to nowhere or worse too.

Anonymous said...

Jim, since 1997 real wages have fallen, while real house prices have more than doubled. We cannot continue as a low-skill, low-wage economy and continue to fund the NHS and any sort of welfare state.

43% of working age adults don't pay any income tax, and it's not like they are all stay at home mums. That ship sailed in the Thatcher years.

We are actually de-industrialising in some areas - like the automatic car wash, getting rarer because you can pay 4 Kosovans to do it.

You seem to think this slow decline is sustainable. I don't. In another few years, Ukraine will be in the EU, and Turkey too (if Erdogan goes). There are A LOT of low-skilled people in the world who would just love to come to the UK.

E-K said...

Jim - Boris is not going for hard Brexit. It is likely we are going to get WA with a backstop tweak.

All we hear is him talking backstop backstop backstop.

Three times Remainers voted down a deal. There weren't enough Eurosceptics in Parliament to throw WA out so who did it ? And there lies the whole problem - a parliament unrepresentative of its people, there should have been a majority of Leavers in it.

This disconnect is why the EU Referendum Act was passed in the first place - they honestly believed that they would have won in the same proportions that they see in the Palaces of Westminster dining club.

E-K said...

Anon at 10.24 has it right.

By 2016 we were well on the race to bottom - being propped up by a credit bubble.

Nick - The 'life of ease' will end, Brexit or no Brexit. Though Brexit will be a convenient source of blame.
(The Climate Change Act will get off scot free.)

Anonymous said...

We have to rebuild manufacturing, because it's the only area in which massive productivity gains are possible.

You can increase productivity in some areas of service job (eg voice recognition to replace the legal secretary (who's probably in India, not in your office) but there are huge and important areas (e.g. nursing) where potential for increases is limited. Therefore if you want your hairdresser or care home assistant to have a higher standard of living (remember that?) other areas have to increase productivity.

(Modular housing looks like an obvious target here).

jim said...

Sad to say I don't think a slow decline is sustainable and I do recognise the decline in real wages across much of the West may have led to the call for Brexit. This looks to be a widespread and common problem and one that will get worse. Even Germany will suffer at least some of this problem. We will be competing with all of Europe selling pork pies and fancy pencils to the South Seas, its the only game in town.

The trouble is that we humans are limited. Hoping to teach tensor calculus to 14 year olds is not going to help. Remember we invented the lithium battery - what have we to show for that intellectual property - nada. IP is very hard to nail down and monetise. We can't brainbox our way out of this. Worse still, those with a marketable intellect can easily offshore the financial rewards keeping them out of the Treasury's sweaty hands. Good for them.

Also pulling up the drawbridge Donny style is a non runner. American manufacture offshored to China is merely shifting to Vietnam and India. Asia has not even started on Africa. The central problem we face is that some of our middle classes are useful but overall too expensive, they push up housing and other costs. This forces out manufacture which is a good way to leverage ordinary people. So lower costs to succeed. The next wave will be to trim the middle classes.

The West's Average Joes will gradually become a consumer base from which wealth is slowly extracted. The monetisable housing and commercial stocks will be bought up and turned into rentals for as long as the cash flow lasts. The process is inevitable, the question is which target to pick off first. This is surely the real motivation behind Brexit, we are making ourselves an easy target ably assisted by our own elite. The Brits have made themselves easy pickings, be in the vanguard Brits, you voted for it.

E-K said...

Not the time to abide by the Climate Change Act then, Jim.

Anonymous said...

Jim, our own elite hates Brexit - which is why it hasn't happened more than 3 years after the vote.

"the next wave will be to trim the middle classes"

That was happening way before Brexit. I wrote in my blogging days that those who celebrated the decline of unions would find that "market forces" would come for them too.

Just look at what the average middle class 60 year old inherited compared with what their children inherit.

Free university education - gone
Paid nursing education - gone
Final salary pensions - gone
Affordable housing - gone
Relatively safe city streets - gone

I have supervised 22 year olds with 2-1s from Russell Group unis (and in one case Cambridge) on £15,000 a year.

(The nursing disaster is going to kill people. Back in the day you hit the patients wards and bedpans from almost day 1, and some people soon found they weren't cut out for it, and that was a good thing for them to discover asap (it's why first year med school exams are stinkers - get the people who are going to fail out in year 1 not year 4). Now you might be massively in debt by the time you find that out, and may have to continue into nursing when you really shouldn't be there)

andrew said...

It has become clear that whilst ~50% of the youth are studying for a degree, 50% of the jobs do not require someone with the training a degree provides.

The unfortunate thing is that for a lot of the 'better' jobs you need a degree (or more) otherwise you dont have your CV read by a human, never mind an interview.

I do not see a way out of this.

Anonymous said...

"I do not see a way out of this"

A labour shortage, then suddenly firms will find all kinds of clever people who didn't have the paperwork. With a labour surplus AND a degree surplus, the HR people can be lazy.

I trained as an IT bod in the mid 80s on the strength of A levels and an IQ test - they were desperate to find people. My course was full of clever 28 year old drop outs dropping back in again.